If the expression is true, that you get what you pay for, the BCMML should start charging admission to their games.
The Okanagan Rockets and Vancouver NE Chiefs locked horns in a game that really did have it all on Sunday. By the time the final horn sounded, likely to the relief of both teams, the game ended in a 6-6 tie at the Richmond Oval.
After falling behind just 12 seconds into the opening period, the Rockets showed a little resiliency in their game and pulled even before the game was 4 minutes old thanks to Sam Binfet, who returned to the line-up for the first time Since Dec 20th.
After the Chiefs rallied with a pair of their own at 6:42 and 12:41 of the 2nd to take a 3-2 lead, the Rockets got even at 3-3 before the 2nd period closed out as Brandon Whistle scored his 2nd of the game and 10th of the year.
The 3rd period offered a little of everything as the two clubs exchanged blows, chances, saves, hits and more.
The Chiefs grabbed the lead back at 6:50 of the 3rd thanks to Sam Chung, only to have the Rockets Lucas Cullen tie it up again at 4-4 just 17 seconds later
The Rockets would then take their 2nd lead of the game as Sam Binfet blocked a shot inside the Rockets blue line and chased the puck down in the neutral zone before finding a streaking Levi Johnson who wristed it past Chiefs netminder Adam Derochie for a 5-4 lead with just 5:54 to go in the game.
After Brett Witala was whistled for hooking, Caleb Fantillo once again pulled the Chiefs even at 5-5 with a power play goal at 17:40 of the final period.
The tie was once again short-lived and the Rockets grabbed a 6-5 lead off the stick of Lucas Cullen at 18:17 as he finished a pretty play from Brandon Whistle.
With just 1:43 remaining, the Rockets appeared poised for the wild win, but after a Chiefs time out, and their net empty, the Chiefs got the tying marker from defenceman Ronnie Wilkie at the 18:53 mark.
"This game really was crazy, it reminded me an awful lot of when we beat the Valley West Hawks in game 3 of the semi finals last year" said general manager David Michaud, referring to the Rockets 7-6 thriller that eliminated the Hawks and sent the Rockets to their 2nd straight BCMML finals. "Walking away with the single point wasn't ideal, things are getting really tight at the top of the standings and when you have a lead late in the game we have to protect it, hopefully we will learn from this and be better for it the next time we are in this position."
The lost point was costly for the Rockets who dropped to 3rd place, now a single point behind the NW Giants, and a single point up on the NE Chiefs who occupy 4th. The Valley West Hawks, and Greater Vancouver Canadians are in 5th and 6th, and just 4 and 6 points behind the Rockets respectively.
"We still have a daunting task in front of us" said Michaud. "We go back to the Oval to face Greater Vancouver this weekend and then a trip to Langley to face the Hawks. The next 10 games are obviously crucial for us, and as I keep saying, you have to go into the playoffs doing the little things right."